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Pope Francis: to French politicians, “rehabilitate politics”, “debate on common values at stake”, start by listening to migrants

An appeal to “rehabilitate” politics was made by Pope Francis as he received in audience in the Clementine Hall this morning, before the General Audience, the participants in the pilgrimage of the French politicians elected in the Rhône-Alpes Region, accompanied by Cardinal Philippe Barbarin and by the Bishops of the Province of Lyons. “In the current international context marked by fears and frustrations, exacerbated by the attacks and blind violence that have hit your country hard, it is all the more important to develop a sense of common good and general interest”, Pope Francis began. Therefore, “together with the Bishops of France, I would like to stress the need to rediscover the meaning of politics in a changing world”, the Pope said: “The Bishops have prepared this document now, and I am reminded of the one drawn up twenty years ago called ‘Réhabiliter la politique’ (‘Rehabilitating Politics’), which has done much good. And now this one, it will also do much good”. “The French society has certainly great potential and is rich in diversities that are called to become opportunities, provided that the republican values of liberty, equality and fraternity are not just proclaimed ostentatiously, but are expounded and understood in connection with their fundamental truth, which is transcendent”, Pope Francis admonished. “What is truly at stake is a real debate on values and guidelines recognised as common to all. Christians are called to take part in such debate together with believers of other religions and people of good will, including non-believers, so as to promote the creation of a better world”. In this sense, “may the pursuit of the common good that moves you lead you to listen carefully to all people in a precarious situation, without forgetting the migrants who have fled their countries to escape war, misery, and violence”, Pope Francis stated. “In this way, in the exercise of your responsibilities, you will contribute to building a more just and human society, a welcoming and fraternal society”.

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